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Main article: 1990s

1991: Algerian Army Helps Create Al-Qaeda Linked Militant Group Edit

Mohammed Samraoui. [Source: Rachad] Mohammed Samraoui, the Algerian army’s deputy chief counterintelligence specialist, will later desert in disgust and explain in a French trial that the Algerian army helped create the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA), supposedly an Islamist militant group linked to al-Qaeda fighting the Algerian government. He will say that in the months before an Algerian army coup in January 1992 the Algerian army “created the GIA” in an attempt to weaken and destroy the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), an Islamist political party poised to take power in elections. He will say, “We established a list of the most dangerous people and demanded their arrest, but in vain: they were needed [to be free] to create terrorist groups. Instead, we arrested right, left, and center. We were trying to radicalize the movement.” Army intelligence identified Algerians returning from the Soviet-Afghan war and many times recruited them. “They all took the flight home via Tunis because it was half-price. As soon as they landed in Algiers, we took them in hand.” [RANDAL, 2005, PP. 169-170] Entity Tags: Algerian army, Groupe Islamique Armé, Al-Qaeda, Mohammed Samraoui Category Tags: Algerian Militant Collusion

1991: Private Security Report Indicates WTC Is Terrorist Target During the mid-1980s, a series of reports described the vulnerability of the World Trade Center to terrorist attack (see July 1985)(see November 1985)(see (Mid-1986)). Now, because of the increased risk of terrorism against the US due to the Gulf War, the New York Port Authority hires private security company Burns and Roe Securacom to prepare a further report, and tells them that the WTC is a terrorist target. Unlike previous investigators, Burns and Roe Securacom finds that the center’s shopping and pedestrian areas, rather than the underground parking garage, are the most likely targets. [NEW YORK COUNTY SUPREME COURT, 1/20/2004; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/27/2005] After separating from Burns and Roe, Securacom (later called Stratesec) will become one of a number of firms involved in providing security at the WTC, right up to the day of 9/11 (see October 1996). [PROGRESSIVE POPULIST, 3/1/2003] Entity Tags: World Trade Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing

1991: US Convinces Bosnian President to Renege on Agreement Lawrence Eagleburger sends Warren Zimmerman to Sarajevo to encourage Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic to renege on an agreement brokered by Lord Carrington that would have prevented the breakup of Yugoslavia. Because of this and other similar incidents, Sir Alfred Sherman, a close colleague of Margaret Thatcher and a staunch US Cold War ally, later describes American intervention in the Balkans as a policy of “lying and cheating, fomenting war in which civilians are the main casualty, and in which ancient hatreds feed on themselves.” [SHERMAN, 3/2/1997] Entity Tags: Lawrence Eagleburger, Margaret Thatcher, Peter Alexander Rupert Carington, Alfred Sherman, Alija Izetbegovic, William Goodhart, Warren Zimmerman Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

1991: KSM Proves Worth to Al-Qaeda while Building Network in Philippines Counterterrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna will later write that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) first “earned his spurs” in al-Qaeda by serving as one of Osama bin Laden’s first bodyguards. Then, in 1991, bin Laden sends KSM to the Philippines where he trains members of the militant groups Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in bomb making and assassination. He works with bin Laden’s brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa to establish an operational base there and also in Malaysia. Presumably he also works with his nephew Ramzi Yousef, who trains Abu Sayyaf militants the same year (see December 1991-May 1992). Gunaratna says that “After proving himself an outstanding organizer, [KSM] was given substantial operational authority and autonomy by bin Laden.” However, KSM’s work with the Abu Sayyaf and MILF is soon discovered and he “has been on the run since 1991.” KSM will return with Yousef to the Philippines in 1994 to exploit the network they built and develop the Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995). [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. XXIV-XXIX] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Abu Sayyaf, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, Moro Islamic Liberation Front Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, Philippine Militant Collusion, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

1991: Portion of Saudi Multimillionaire’s BMI Investment Pays for Hamas Attacks In 1991, Saudi multimillionaire Yassin al-Qadi transfers $820,000 from a Swiss bank account to the Quranic Literacy Institute, a Muslim charity based in Chicago. The charity uses the money to purchase land in Woodridge, a quiet town on the outskirts of Chicago. Al-Qadi claims the money is an interest-free loan for charitable purposes, but in a June 1998 affidavit, FBI agent Robert Wright will claim the investment is designed to produce money for Middle East terrorism. According to the affidavit, most of about $110,000 in income generated from the Woodridge property goes to Mohammad Salah, an admitted operative of Hamas. Salah is said to give $96,000 of this money to another Hamas operative to buy automatic rifles, pistols, and ammunition. In March 1992, al-Qadi will send an additional $27,000 directly to Salah. The institute will sell the Woodridge property for more than they had paid for it, but they will never repay al-Qadi’s $820,000. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/26/2002] In June 1998, the US will seize the Quranic Literacy Institute’s assets (see June 9, 1998). In 2004, a US court will rule that the money from al-Qadi’s original investment was used to fund a Hamas attack in 1996 that killed a US citizen (see May 12, 2000-December 9, 2004). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/26/2002] Entity Tags: Robert Wright, Hamas, Mohammad Salah, Yassin al-Qadi, Quranic Literacy Institute Category Tags: Robert Wright and Vulgar Betrayal, Terrorism Financing

1991: Philippines Senate Votes to Close US Bases The Philippines Senate votes to close all US military bases in the country, a major strategic blow to the US in the region. [SOUTH ASIA ANALYSIS GROUP, 2/28/2002] Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion

Early 1990s and After: Mysterious Links Seen between Right Wing Westerners and Philippine Muslim Militants Edit

In 2002, a Philippine newspaper article will claim that “Philippine police have long been aware of operational ties between local Islamic radicals and right-wing foreigners.” Apparently these ties become first noticeable in the early 1990s. The article is mainly about a 1996 recorded testimonial by Edwin Angeles, a Philippine undercover agent who had posed as a leader of the Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf until 1995 (see 1991-Early February 1995). In his testimony, he claimed to have attended meetings between Muslim militants and Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols, plus another right-wing American named John Lepney (see Late 1992-Early 1993 and Late 1994). The article notes that Philippine officials believe such ties were not limited to these cases. “Why the strange alliance exists remains a puzzle to police and military intelligence agents. A senior counterterrorism expert says commerce and short-term goals could account for the unusual ties. ‘Eventually, they’ll be killing each other. But for now, they seem to be working together.’” Lepney had been seen in the rebellious areas of the southern Philippines since 1990 and occasionally boasted of his rebel ties. [MANILA TIMES, 4/26/2002] Additionally, Michael Meiring, a US citizen who may have been a CIA operative with ties to Muslim militant leaders (see May 16, 2002) and December 2, 2004), periodically appeared in the same region beginning in 1992 (see 1992-1993). He sometimes stayed in Davao City, the same city where Lepney was based. Meiring claims to be a treasure hunter, but military officials note that there are “terrorists and intelligence operatives of all stripes about among treasure hunters’ circles.” Meiring also had ties to at least one neo-Nazi figure in the US. [MANILA TIMES, 5/30/2002; MANILA TIMES, 5/31/2002] Philippine officials will later identify a number of other suspicious right-wing Westerners living in the rebellious southern region of the country in the early 1990s. For instance, there is US citizen Nina North, whom acquaintances claim has CIA connections. From 1990 to 1992, she was reportedly working on business deals with bin Laden and other Middle East figures involving the transfer of gold bullion. In 2002, Philippine officials will claim that ties between right-wing Westerners and Muslim militants continue to the present day but they do not provide new information because of ongoing investigations. [MANILA TIMES, 5/31/2002] Entity Tags: Michael Meiring, John Lepney, Edwin Angeles, Nina North, Osama bin Laden Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Other Possible Moles or Informants, Philippine Militant Collusion, US Intel Links to Islamic Militancy, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

1991: Al-Qaeda Begins Infiltrating Balkans Region Through Charity Front A 2006 analysis compiled jointly by US and Croatian intelligence will reveal that al-Qaeda began infiltrating the Balkans region even before the start of the Bosnian war in 1992. Kamer Eddine Kherbane, a member of Algerian militant group GIA, moved to Zagreb, Croatia, in 1991 to set up a charity front at the direct request of Osama bin Laden. The organization, called Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) or Al-Kifah, is closely tied to al-Qaeda. Its Brooklyn, New York, branch called the Al-Kifah Refugee Center is tied to both the 1993 WTC bombers and the CIA (see 1986-1993). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/17/2006] Apparently the Zagreb branch of MAK/Al-Kifah is also called the Al-Kifah Refugee Center like the Brooklyn branch and has very close ties with that branch (see Early 1990s). A Spanish police report will later claim that Kherbane is the head of the Zagreb branch. [CNN, 12/8/2002] The analysis will allege that Kherbane used Al-Kifah “to infiltrate GIA members into Bosnia,” and that Iran and unnamed Arab countries paid for the operation through money transfers. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/17/2006] Kherbane appears to have begun working with other radical militants in Bosnia in 1990 (see 1990). Entity Tags: Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Osama bin Laden, Groupe Islamique Armé, Kamer Eddine Kherbane, Maktab al-Khidamat Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Terrorism Financing, Al-Kifah/MAK

Between 1991 and 2001: NORAD Exercise Simulates Crash into Famous US Building At some point between 1991 and 2001, a regional NORAD sector holds an exercise simulating a foreign hijacked airliner crashing into a prominent building in the United States, the identity of which is classified. According to military officials, the building is not the World Trade Center or the Pentagon. The exercise involves some flying of military aircraft, plus a “command post exercise” where communication procedures are rehearsed in an office environment. [CNN, 4/19/2004] Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Military Exercises

1991: White House Is Protected from Airplane Attack During Gulf War Time magazine reports in 1994, “During the Gulf War, uniformed air-defense teams could be seen patrolling the top floor [of the White House] with automatic rifles or shoulder-mounted ground-to-air missiles.” [TIME, 9/26/1994] While a battery of surface-to-air-missiles remains permanently on the roof of the White House, the rest of these defenses are apparently removed after the war is over. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/16/2001] Yet even though counterterrorism officials later call the alerts in the summer of 2001 “the most urgent in decades,” similar defensive measures will apparently not be taken. [US CONGRESS, 9/18/2002] Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Military Exercises

(1991): Bin Laden Allegedly Stays at London Estate of Saudi Billionaire

Khalid bin Mahfouz. [Source: CBC] Shortly after 9/11, the London Times will report that Osama bin Laden stayed at the London estate of Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz. “Sources close to the bin Mahfouz family say that about 10 years ago, when bin Laden was widely regarded as a religious visionary and defender of the Muslim faith, he visited the property and spent ‘two or three days’ on the estate, relaxing in its open-air swimming pool, walking in the grounds and talking to bin Mahfouz. What the men discussed remains a mystery.” Bin Mahfouz was a major investor in the criminal Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which is closed down around this time (see July 5, 1991). [LONDON TIMES, 9/23/2001] Bin Laden was also heavily invested in BCCI at the time (see July 1991). There are other reports of bin Laden visiting London around this time (see Early 1990s-Late 1996), and even briefly living there (see Early 1994). The name “bin Mahfouz” appears on the “Golden Chain,” a list of early al-Qaeda financial supporters (see 1988-1989). Bin Mahfouz denies any terrorist link to bin Laden. Entity Tags: Khalid bin Mahfouz, Osama bin Laden, Bank of Credit and Commerce International Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism Financing, BCCI

1991-1995: Rich Saudis Fund Bosnia Fighters through Alleged Bin Laden Charity Front Edit

Mujaheddin battalions in formation during the Bosnia war. More details are unknown. [Source: History Channel] Saudi multimillionaire Yassin al-Qadi forms the Muwafaq Foundation (also known as Blessed Relief). The Muwafaq Foundation is a charitable trust registered in Jersey, an island off the coast of Britain with lenient charity regulations. [BURR AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 121-123] Al-Qadi is said to be the chief investor, donating about $15 to $20 million for the charity from his fortune. He also persuades members of very rich and powerful Saudi families to help out. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/29/2001] The foundation’s board of directors will later be called “the creme de la creme of Saudi society.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/13/2001] Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz’s legal team will later state that bin Mahfouz “was the principal donor to the foundation at its inception in 1991 but was not involved in the running of the charity.” They also will state that the foundation was purely humanitarian and had no terrorist ties. [BIN MAHFOUZ INFO, 11/22/2005] The Muwafaq Foundation opens offices in several African countries, but it is soon suspected of providing funds for Islamic extremists. For instance, in 1992 it opens an office in Mogadishu, Somalia, at a time when al-Qaeda is assisting militants fighting US soldiers there (see October 3-4, 1993). Burr and Collins will claim “its purpose [there] consisted of transporting weapons and ammunition to Islamists in the city.” But most of the foundation’s work appears to center on Bosnia. It opens an office in neighboring Croatia in 1992, the same year the Bosnian war begins, and then in Sarajevo, Bosnia, a year later. By June 1993, group of mujaheddin fighting in the Zenica region of Bosnia form the Al Muwafaq Brigade. It consists of about 750 Afghan-Arabs and has Iranian advisers. According to Burr and Collins, it soon becomes well known in the region that the Muwafaq Foundation is funding the Al Muwafaq Brigade and at least one camp in Afghanistan training mujaheddin to fight in Bosnia. One member of the brigade is Ahmed Ressam, who will later be arrested in an al-Qaeda plot to blow up the Los Angeles airport (see December 14, 1999). In July 1995, a US Foreign Broadcast Information Service report indicates that the Muwafaq Foundation’s office in Zagreb, Croatia, is a bin Laden front. In early 1996, bin Laden will mention in an interview that he supports the “Muwafaq Society” in Zagreb. However, al-Qadi denies any ties to fighting mujaheddin. The brigade apparently disbands after the war ends in 1995 and the Muwafaq Foundation will close its Bosnia office by 1998. [BURR AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 121-123, 137-138] A secret 1996 CIA report will claim that Muwafaq has ties to the al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya militant group and helps fund mujaheddin fighting in Bosnia and at least one training camp in Afghanistan (see January 1996). The US will declare al-Qadi a terrorist financier shortly after 9/11 but has never taken any action against the Muwafaq Foundation (see 1995-1998). Entity Tags: Yassin al-Qadi, Khalid bin Mahfouz, Muwafaq Foundation, Al Muwafaq Brigade, Osama bin Laden, Ahmed Ressam Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism Financing

1991-1992: Bush Administration is Split on Bosnia Policy There is a growing conflict within the Bush administration between the “selective engagers” and an alliance of “hardliners” and “liberal humanitarianists” over whether or not to intervene militarily in Bosnia. The selective engagers believe that the US should militarily intervene only in cases where US strategic interests are directly threatened. Richard Perle and Albert Wohlstetter are prominently mentioned among the hardliners. [WESTERN, 7/1999] Entity Tags: Albert Wohlstetter, Richard Perle Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

1991-1997: Oil Investment in Central Asia Follows Soviet Collapse The Soviet Union collapses in 1991, creating several new nations in Central Asia. Major US oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Texaco, Unocal, BP Amoco, Shell, and Enron, directly invest billions in these Central Asian nations, bribing heads of state to secure equity rights in the huge oil reserves in these regions. The oil companies commit to $35 billion in future direct investments in Kazakhstan. It is believed at the time that these oil fields will have an estimated $6 trillion potential value. US companies own approximately 75 percent of the rights. These companies, however, face the problem of having to pay exorbitant prices to Russia for use of the Russian pipelines to get the oil out. [NEW YORKER, 7/9/2001; ASIA TIMES, 1/26/2002] Entity Tags: Enron, Unocal, Soviet Union, Kazakhstan, Russia, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, British Petroleum, Texaco Timeline Tags: Peak Oil Category Tags: Pipeline Politics, US Dominance

1991-1992: CIA Contractor Drafts Plan to Assassinate Bin Laden, but It Is Not Implemented CIA contractor Billy Waugh, who is conducting surveillance against Osama bin Laden in Khartoum, Sudan (see February 1991- July 1992), drafts a plan to assassinate bin Laden. Waugh will later say that the plan, one of “hundreds” of such proposals he prepares for the CIA, is drafted as a natural part of the surveillance and “isn’t anything special,” but is just written “in case someone decided that was the necessary course of action.” The plan is to kill bin Laden while he is traveling, because that is when his security is worst. One CIA car would follow bin Laden on one of his regular trips out of town, another would approach bin Laden’s car from the opposite direction and ram into it. The driver of the trailing car would then get out and shoot bin Laden. Given the poor quality of the Sudanese security services, Waugh thinks it would be simple to evade capture after the shooting. However, the plan is not approved because of restrictions on assassinations at the CIA and because of a lack of specific intelligence tying bin Laden to terrorism at this point. Waugh then considers killing bin Laden himself from one of his surveillance positions without permission, but decides not to do so. [WAUGH AND KEOWN, 2004, PP. 207-210] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Billy Waugh Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden

1991-1992: CIA Penetrates Bank Frequently Used by Bin Laden The CIA, which is conducting a surveillance operation against Osama bin Laden in Sudan (see February 1991- July 1992), penetrates a bank he uses. Billy Waugh, one of the CIA contractors performing the surveillance, will say: “[Bin Laden] went to the bank every day, and you might figure that if the [CIA] knew which bank he used, it would recruit someone within that bank to provide information. Well, by God they did.” Waugh will also say that the CIA “knew about [bin Laden’s] personal bank account.” However, details of what the CIA knew about bin Laden based on this penetration are not known. Although the bank most closely associated with bin Laden at this time is the Al-Shamal Islamic Bank (see August 14, 1996), in his autobiography Waugh calls the bank the “Arab Bank.” [WAUGH AND KEOWN, 2004, PP. 203] It is unclear exactly what bank Waugh is referring to. There is a bank called the Arab Bank that is alleged to be involved in terrorism finance. [MSNBC, 4/19/2005] However, the bank’s website states that its Sudan branch was nationalized in 1970. [ARAB BANK, 3/23/2008] The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa is also based in Khartoum at this time. [INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, 3/23/2008] However, there are no known connections between this bank and bin Laden. Entity Tags: Al-Shamal Islamic Bank, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, Billy Waugh, Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency, Arab Bank Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism Financing

1991-2000: Airport Later Used by Ten Hijackers Has Poor Security Record and Lacks Surveillance Cameras

Virginia Buckingham [Source: Publicity photo] Data compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shows that over this period Boston’s Logan Airport has one of the worst records for security among major US airports. Flight 11 and Flight 175 depart from Logan on 9/11. While it is only America’s eighteenth busiest airport, it has the fifth highest number of security violations. FAA agents testing its passenger screening are able to get 234 guns and inert hand grenades and bombs past its checkpoint guards or through its X-ray machines. Though it is possible that the high number of violations is because the FAA tests more frequently at Logan than elsewhere, an official later quoted by the Boston Globe says lax security is the only explanation, as all checkpoints at every major airport are meant to be tested monthly. In contrast, Newark Airport, from where Flight 93 departs on 9/11, has an above average security record. Washington’s Dulles Airport, from where Flight 77 takes off, is below average, though not as bad as Logan. Officials familiar with security at Logan will, after 9/11, point to various flaws. For example, the State Police office has no video surveillance of the airport’s security checkpoints, boarding gates, ramp areas, or perimeter entrances. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/26/2001] Security cameras had been put into use at most US airports in the mid-1980s. When Virginia Buckingham takes over as executive director of Massachusetts Port Authority in 1999, she is surprised at the lack of cameras at Logan, and orders them that year. Yet by 9/11, they still will not have been installed. [BOSTON HERALD, 9/29/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 9/30/2001] In spite of Logan’s poor security record, after 9/11 the Boston Globe will report, “[A]viation specialists have said it is unlikely that more rigorous attention to existing rules would have thwarted the 10 hijackers who boarded two jets at Logan on Sept. 11.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 10/17/2001] Entity Tags: Newark International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Virginia Buckingham, Federal Aviation Administration, Logan Airport Category Tags: Warning Signs, US Air Security

1991-1995: German Intelligence Illegally Arms Bosnian Muslims and Croats Edit

Christoph von Bezold. [Source: History Channel] In 1997, it will be reported that the German parliament’s Control Commission, which oversees Germany’s intelligence services, is investigating media allegations that the BND German intelligence agency covertly and illegally armed the Bosnian Muslims and Croats during the Bosnian war. The BND allegedly infiltrated the European Union’s monitoring missions that were supposed to help arrange ceasefires and assist with humanitarian aid. The Germans used that cover to smuggle weapons and money to Bosnian Muslims. In one instance, Christoph von Bezold, head of the German EU monitors in Zagreb, Croatia, was allegedly actually a BND agent and on March 27, 1994, he shipped munitions across enemy lines to the Bosnian Muslim controlled pocket of Bihac, Bosnia, in boxes supposedly containing powdered milk. Apparently this was just one of many such shipments using EU monitors as cover. In addition, Germany appears to be Croatia’s largest arms supplier during the war, although this is in violation of German law prohibiting the shipments of arms to an active war zone and a violation of the UN arms embargo on Yugoslavia as well. Most of the Croatia military hardware comes from East German supplies rendered obsolete in Germany after East and West Germany merged. Germany even smuggled former East German MiG-21 fighters to Croatia. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/20/1997] Entity Tags: Christoph von Bezold, Bundesnachrichtendienst Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

1991-1997: Group of Foreign Policy Analysts Recommends Interventionist Policy

Morton Abramowitz. [Source: Bradley Olsen] Morton Abramowitz, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, establishes a number of blue-ribbon commissions, headed by a select group of foreign policy elite, to create a new post-Cold War foreign policy framework for the US. Some of the group’s members are Madeleine Albright, Henry Cisneros, John Deutch, Richard Holbrooke, Alice Rivlin, David Gergen, Admiral William Crowe, Leon Fuerth, as well as Richard Perle and James Schlesinger, the two token conservatives who quickly resign. The commission will issue a number of policy papers recommending the increased use of military force to intervene in the domestic conflicts of other countries. Some of the commission’s members are appointed to brief Democratic presidential candidates on the commission’s reports ahead of their release. [AMERICAN SPECTATOR, 6/1999] Abramowitz is also influential in the career of counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, who refers to Abramowitz as his “boss and mentor” at the State Department. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 48] Entity Tags: Richard A. Clarke, Richard Holbrooke, William Crowe Jr., Richard Perle, Morton I. Abramowitz, Madeleine Albright, Leon Fuerth, David Gergen, Henry Cisneros, John Deutch, Alice Rivlin, Arthur M. Schlesinger Timeline Tags: Neoconservative Influence Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, US Dominance

Early 1991: Islamist Group Abu Sayyaf Formed; Funded by Al-Qaeda Figures

Abdurajak Janjalani. [Source: Public domain] Abu Sayyaf, a militant Islamic group, is formed in the Philippines, and is led mainly by returned mujaheddin fighters from Afghanistan. Abdurajak Janjalani, who had fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan, is considered the founder of the group. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/23/2001; STRATEGIC UPDATE, 10/15/2001 ; BAYANI MAGAZINE, 4/2005] Janjalani had befriended bin Laden while fighting in Afghanistan in the late 1980s. He and many others from the Philippines had their training paid for by the CIA and Pakistani ISI (see Late 1980s). “Osama bin Laden wanted to expand his al-Qaeda network, established in 1988, so he turned to Janjalani to establish a cell in Southeast Asia.” Many militants break from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a much larger rebel group, to join Abu Sayyaf. It will later be reported that, “Philippine intelligence officials believe [Abu Sayyaf’s] primary goal at the time was to sabotage the ongoing peace process between the MNLF and the [Philippine government] and to discredit the MNLF’s leaders.” [STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE OF THE US ARMY WAR COLLEGE, 9/1/2005 ] This comment takes on added meaning in light of evidence that the group was penetrated from the very beginning by the Philippine government, as a deep undercover operative became the group’s second in command and operational leader (see 1991-Early February 1995). The group begins a series of attacks by killing two American evangelists in April 1991. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/23/2001] The group engages primarily in kidnapping and extortion. It also receives early funding from Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of bin Laden, and Ramzi Yousef, the 1993 WTC bomber (see December 1991-May 1992). [STRATEGIC UPDATE, 10/15/2001 ; TIME, 8/23/2004] Entity Tags: Philippines, Osama bin Laden, Ramzi Yousef, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Abdurajak Janjalani, Moro National Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

1991-Late 1993: Future London Imam Abu Hamza Works in Afghanistan, Loses Hands in Explosives Experiment Abu Hamza al-Masri, who will later become a leading Islamic radical in Britain, travels to Afghanistan and, as he is a qualified civil engineer, helps with reconstruction efforts there after the Soviet withdrawal. He later receives paramilitary training at Darunta camp and loses his hands and the sight in one eye while practicing making explosives there. He is taken to Pakistan for emergency treatment, but refuses to hand over a set of passports he has to that country’s ISI intelligence agency, and flees to Britain with his family due to fears of a reprisal. [O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 21-29] Entity Tags: Abu Hamza al-Masri, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Darunta training camp Category Tags: Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism, Abu Hamza Al-Masri

1991-Early February 1995: Al-Qaeda Linked Philippine Militant Group Deeply Penetrated by Government Operative

Edwin Angeles. [Source: Robin Moyer] Edwin Angeles helps found the new Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines and becomes the group’s second in command and operations officer. But Angeles is actually a deep cover operative for the Philippine government and has already penetrated the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a much larger rebel group that Abu Sayyaf splintered from. Angeles is the first to suggest that Abu Sayyaf take part in kidnappings, and plans the group’s first kidnapping for ransom in 1992. He will be directly involved in numerous violent acts committed by Abu Sayyaf until his cover is blown in early 1995 (see Late 1994-January 1995 and Early February 1995). [PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 7/10/2001] Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza, who will later lead the Philippine investigation in the Bojinka plot, is his main handler. Mendoza will later recall, “I received orders to handle him… I had the impression he was also being handled by somebody higher.” [VITUG AND GLORIA, 2000] In 2002, one of Angeles’ wives will claim in a deathbed confession that Angeles told her he was a “deep-penetration agent” working for “some very powerful men in the DND (Department of National Defense),” the Philippine national defense-intelligence agency. [INSIGHT, 6/22/2002] During this time, Abu Sayyaf is very active. Philippine intelligence will later estimate that from 1991 to 1995 the group launches 67 kidnappings and violent attacks, killing around 136 people and injuring hundreds more. [STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE OF THE US ARMY WAR COLLEGE, 9/1/2005 ] Entity Tags: Rodolfo Mendoza, Moro National Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf, Edwin Angeles, Department of National Defense Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion, Other Possible Moles or Informants, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

1991-Late 2003: Radical Islamists Train and Select Muslim Chaplains for US Military In 1991, there is a surge in the number of US soldiers adhering to Islam, due to a conversion program sponsored by the Saudi government (see March-September 1991). Islamic activist Abdurahman Alamoudi approaches the US military and suggests they create a program for Muslim chaplains, similar to a longstanding program for Christian chaplains. His proposal is accepted and in 1991 he creates the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council (AMAFVAC) with the stated purpose to “certify Muslim chaplains hired by the military.” In 1993, the Defense Department certifies it as one of two organizations to select and endorse Muslim chaplains. The other is the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences (GSISS). [US CONGRESS, SENATE, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, 10/14/2003; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/3/2003] That group is run by prominent Islamic scholar Taha Jabir Al-Alwani. Most of the roughly one dozen Muslim chaplains in the US military are educated there. In 2002, the US government searches the school and Al-Alwani’s home as part of a raid on the SAAR network (see March 20, 2002). He appears to also be named as an unindicted coconspirator in the Sami al-Arian trial. Counterterrorism expert Rita Katz says Al-Alwani is a “person who supports and funnels money to terrorist organizations,” but Al-Alwani denies all terrorism ties and has not been charged with any crime. [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/27/2003] Most Muslim chaplains trained at GSISS then receive an official endorsement from Alamoudi’s AMAFVAC organization. US intelligence will learn in early 1994 that Alamoudi has ties to bin Laden (see Shortly After March 1994). [US CONGRESS, SENATE, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, 10/14/2003] In 1996, counterterrorism expert Steven Emerson will warn in a Wall Street Journal editorial that Alamoudi openly supports Hamas, even after the US government officially designated it a terrorist organization (see March 13, 1996). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/13/1996] But Alamoudi will work for the Defense Department until 1998 on an unpaid basis to nominate and to vet Muslim chaplain candidates. After that, he will give the task to others in his AMAFVAC organization. [US CONGRESS, SENATE, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, 10/14/2003] Furthermore, Sen. Charles Schumer (D) will later allege the US the military allowed Muslim chaplains to travel to the Middle East on funds provided by the Muslim World League, which has been linked to al-Qaeda (see October 12, 2001). Sen. Jon Kyl (R) will later comment, “It is remarkable that people who have known connections to terrorism are the only people to approve these chaplains.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 10/27/2003] In late 2003, Alamoudi will be arrested and later sentenced to 23 years in prison for terrorism-related crimes. The US military will announce around the same time that it is reviewing and overhauling its Muslim chaplain program. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 10/27/2003] Entity Tags: Taha Jabir Al-Alwani, Steven Emerson, US Department of Defense, Muslim World League, Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council, Abdurahman Alamoudi, Rita Katz, Charles Schumer, Jon Kyl Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, US Intel Links to Islamic Militancy

February 1991: CIA Already Aware of ‘Al-Qaeda’ The CIA is aware of the term al-Qaeda at least by this time. Billy Waugh is a CIA contractor assigned to follow bin Laden and other suspected criminals in Sudan starting at this time (see February 1991- July 1992). He will later recall in a book that when he arrived in Sudan, the CIA station chief there said to him about bin Laden, “We don’t know what he’s up to, but we know he’s a wealthy financier and we think he’s harboring some of these outfits called al-Qaeda. See what you can find out.” Waugh will note, “I was familiar with bin Laden from [CIA] traffic, but this was the first time I had heard the term al-Qaeda.” [WAUGH AND KEOWN, 2004, PP. 121] According to most other media accounts, US intelligence does not learn about the existence of al-Qaeda until several years later, not long before the State Department publicly uses the term in 1996 (see August 14, 1996). For instance, US News and World Report will even assert in 2003, “So limited was the CIA’s knowledge that it began using al-Qaeda’s real name only [in 1998]—10 years after bin Laden founded the organization.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 12/15/2003] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Al-Qaeda, Billy Waugh, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

February 1991: Pakistan Supposedly Considers Funding Covert Operations through Drug Money Pakistan’s army chief and the head of the ISI, its intelligence agency, propose to sell heroin to pay for the country’s covert operations, according to Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister at the time. Sharif claims that shortly after becoming prime minister, army chief of staff Gen. Aslam Beg and ISI director Gen. Asad Durrani present him with a plan to sell heroin through third parties to pay for covert operations that are no longer funded by the CIA, now that the Afghan war is over. Sharif claims he does not approve the plan. Sharif will make these accusations in 1994, one year after he lost an election and became leader of the opposition. Durrani and Beg will deny the allegations. Both will have retired from these jobs by the time the allegations are made. The Washington Post will comment in 1994, “It has been rumored for years that Pakistan’s military has been involved in the drug trade. Pakistan’s army, and particularly its intelligence agency… is immensely powerful and is known for pursuing its own agenda.” The Post will further note that in 1992, “A consultant hired by the CIA warned that drug corruption had permeated virtually all segments of Pakistani society and that drug kingpins were closely connected to the country’s key institutions of power, including the president and military intelligence agencies.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/1994] Entity Tags: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Aslam Beg, Nawaz Sharif, Asad Durrani Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Drugs

February 1991- July 1992: CIA Already Spying on Bin Laden in Sudan

Billy Waugh. [Source: Billy Waugh] The CIA monitors bin Laden in Khartoum, Sudan, where he has just moved (see Summer 1991). Billy Waugh, an independent contractor working for the CIA, moves to Khartoum and is given the task of spying on him. Waugh is a legendary fighter already in his sixties who has performed special operations for the US Army and CIA for many years and will continue to do so until he is in his seventies. The Associated Press will later report that Waugh “played a typecast role as an aging American fitness enthusiast and would regularly jog past bin Laden’s home. He said he often came face-to-face with bin Laden, who undoubtedly knew the CIA was tailing him. Neither said anything, but Waugh recalled exchanging pleasantries with bin Laden’s Afghan guards.” [WAUGH AND KEOWN, 2004, PP. 121; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/4/2005] Waugh will later recall, “I was on a tracking team in Sudan keeping track of [bin Laden] in his early days as a possible terrorist network leader. Our CIA Chief of Station there told me upon arrival that [he] was one of our targets, that he was a wealthy Saudi financier and possible supporter of the terrorist outfit called al-Qaeda. He ran companies there and even owned an entire street block in the al-Riyadh section of the city.… At the time of our surveillance operations against him in 1991-92, [he] was not a particularly high priority, though evidence was gathering about him. At the time, it would have been very easy to take him out.” Waugh also claims that he saw bin Laden “in the mountains of the Pakistan/Afghanistan border in the late 1980’s when we were training the [mujaheddin] resistance.” [JOURNAL OF COUNTERTERRORISM & HOMELAND SECURITY INTERNATIONAL, 6/2005] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Billy Waugh, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden

(February 28, 1991): Head of Al-Kifah Charity Front Murdered, Increasing Al-Qaeda’s Strength in US Around February 28, 1991, Mustafa Shalabi, head of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center’s main US office in Brooklyn, is murdered. Al-Kifah is a charity front with ties to both the CIA and al-Qaeda (see 1986-1993). Shalabi’s body is found in his house on March 1. He had been shot and stabbed multiple times and $100,000 was stolen. Shalabi is found with two red hairs in his hand, and the FBI soon suspects Mahmud Abouhalima, who is red-headed, for the murder. Abouhalima identified Shalabi’s body for the police, falsely claiming to be Shalabi’s brother. He will later be one of the 1993 WTC bombers. Shalabi had been having a growing public dispute with the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, over where to send the roughly one million dollars Al-Kifah was raising annually. Abdul-Rahman wanted some of the money to be used to overthrow the Egyptian government while Shalabi wanted to send all of it to Afghanistan. Shalabi had given up the fight and had already booked a flight to leave the US when he was killed. The murder is never solved. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 49-52; LANCE, 2006, PP. 65-66] Abdul Wali Zindani takes over as head of Al-Kifah and apparently will run the office until it closes shortly after the 1993 WTC bombing. He is nephew of Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, a radical imam in Yemen with ties to bin Laden. Abdul-Rahman, also linked to bin Laden, increases his effective control over Al-Kifah and its money. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 82] Al-Kifah’s links to al-Qaeda were already strong before Shalabi’s death. But author Peter Lance will later comment that after his death, “Osama bin Laden had an effective al-Qaeda cell right in the middle of Brooklyn, New York. A tough look at the Shalabi murder might have ripped the lid off al-Qaeda years before the FBI ever heard of the network.” [LANCE, 2003, PP. 52] Entity Tags: Mahmud Abouhalima, Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Abdul Wali Zindani, Mustafa Shalabi Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, Al-Kifah/MAK

March 1991: US Military Remains in Saudi Arabia

US troops in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s. [Source: PBS] As the Gulf War against Iraq ends, the US stations some 15,000-20,000 soldiers in Saudi Arabia permanently. [NATION, 2/15/1999] President George H. W. Bush falsely claims that all US troops have withdrawn. [GUARDIAN, 12/21/2001] The US troop’s presence is not admitted until 1995, and there has never been an official explanation as to why they remained. The Nation postulates that they are stationed there to prevent a coup. Saudi Arabia has an incredible array of high-tech weaponry, but lacks the expertise to use it and it is feared that Saudi soldiers may have conflicting loyalties. In 1998, bin Laden will say in a fatwa: “For more than seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples” (see February 22, 1998). [NATION, 2/15/1999] US troops will finally leave in 2003, shortly after the start of the Iraq war and the construction of new military bases in other Persian Gulf countries (see April 30-August 26, 2003). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, United States, George Herbert Walker Bush Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia

March 1991: FBI Begins Investigating Bin Laden’s Future Personal Secretary

Wadih El-Hage’s US passport. His face is overly dark due to a poor photocopy. [Source: US Justice Department] (click image to enlarge) The FBI begins to investigate Wadih El-Hage, who will soon work as bin Laden’s personal secretary. The FBI is investigating the February 1991 murder of Mustafa Shalabi (see (February 28, 1991)), the head of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, a charity with ties to both bin Laden and the CIA. El-Hage, a US citizen living in Texas, came to New York to briefly run Al-Kifah so Shalabi could take a trip overseas, and happened to arrive the same day that Shalabi was murdered. Investigators find a message from El-Hage on Shalabi’s answer machine. They learn El-Hage had been connected to the 1989 murder of an imam in Tucson, Arizona. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 148-149; LANCE, 2006, PP. 67-68] Further, he visited El Sayyid Nosair, who assassinated Meir Kahane the year before (see November 5, 1990), in prison, and left his name in the visitor’s log. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 50-51] However, the FBI decides there is not enough evidence to charge El-Hage with any crime. They lose track of him in early 1992, when he moves to Sudan and begins working there as bin Laden’s primary personal secretary. He will help bin Laden run many of his businesses, and will frequently take international trips on bin Laden’s behalf. [PBS FRONTLINE, 4/1999; NEW YORK TIMES, 1/22/2000] Entity Tags: Wadih El-Hage, Mustafa Shalabi, El Sayyid Nosair, Al-Kifah Refugee Center Category Tags: 1998 US Embassy Bombings, Wadih El-Hage, Al-Kifah/MAK, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

March 1991-December 1992: CIA Hides Its Relationship to Criminal BCCI In March 1991, Sen. John Kerry’s Senate investigation of the criminal Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) investigation hears about a secret CIA report on BCCI that was given to the Customs Service. Kerry’s office asks the CIA for a copy, but is told the report does not exist. After months of wrangling, more and more information about the CIA’s ties to BCCI comes out, and the CIA eventually gives Kerry that report and many other reports relating to BCCI. But crucially, the CIA does not share documents on CIA operations using the bank. Kerry’s public report will conclude, “Key questions about the relationship between US intelligence and BCCI cannot be answered at this time, and may never be.” [NATION, 10/26/1992; US CONGRESS, SENATE, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, 12/1992] Entity Tags: Bank of Credit and Commerce International, Central Intelligence Agency, John Kerry Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, BCCI

March-September 1991: Radical Imams and Saudi Government Convert Many US Soldiers to Islam; Some Later Fight in Bosnia

Bilal Philips. [Source: Lightuponlight.com] Shortly after the end of fighting in the US-led Persian Gulf war against Iraq, the US allows the Saudi government to conduct a massive program to convert US soldiers still stationed in Saudi Arabia (see March 1991) to Islam. Huge tents are erected near the barracks of US troops and Saudi imams lecture the soldiers about Islam and attempt to convert them. Within months, about 1,000 soldiers, and perhaps as many as 3,000, convert to Islam. Some US officials express concern about the aggressive conversion effort and the long term implications it may have, but the program is not stopped. Radical imam Bilal Philips helps lead the conversion effort. He will later explain that a special team of fluent English speakers, some trained in psychology, was amply paid by the Saudi government to convert the soldiers. Converts had their pilgrimages to Islamic holy cities paid for and Muslim imams were assigned to follow up with them when they returned to the US. Philips is openly hostile to the US, saying such things as, “Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam.” He will later note that some of his converts went to fight in Bosnia and others were the subject of terrorism probes in the US. [US CONGRESS, SENATE, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, 10/14/2003; WASHINGTON POST, 11/2/2003] Philips will work with the Saudi government and one of the “Landmarks” bombers to send 14 Muslim ex-US soldiers to fight in Bosnia in 1992 (see December 1992). Listed as an unindicted coconspirator in the 1993 WTC bombing, he will be deported from the US in 2004. [AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/4/2007] Entity Tags: Saudi Arabia, Bilal Philips, US Department of the Army Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Saudi Arabia

April 1991-Late 2000: Hambali Lives Openly with Other Key Southeast Asian Militant Leaders and Indonesian Government Mole Hambali, an important future al-Qaeda leader, moves to the village of Sungai Manggis, Malaysia, about an hour north of the capital of Kuala Lumpur. Hambali is from nearby Indonesia and fought in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden in the late 1980s. He starts off poor, working at odd jobs, but soon is frequently traveling and has many overseas visitors. Intriguingly, Hambali’s landlord will later say of Hambali’s visitors, “Some looked Arab and others white.” Hambali plays a major role in the 1995 Bojinka plot in the Philippines (see January 6, 1995), and after that plot is foiled he continues to live in his simple Sungai Manggis house. [TIME, 4/1/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] Living near Hambali in this village are other regional Islamist militant leaders such as Abdullah Sungkar, Imam Samudra (allegedly a key figure in the 2000 Christmas bombings (see December 24-30, 2000) and the 2002 Bali bombings (see October 12, 2002)), Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah, and Abu Jibril. So many militants live in this village that it becomes known as “Terror HQ” to intelligence agencies. Sungkar and Bashir are considered the two most well-known militant leaders in Southeast Asia at the time (Sungkar dies of old age in 1999). Hambali’s house is directly across from Bashir’s and they are considered friends. [TEMPO, 10/29/2002; RESSA, 2003] Interestingly, Fauzi Hasbi, an Indonesian government mole posing as a militant leader, lives next door to Bashir as well. [SBS DATELINE, 10/12/2005] Despite his role in the Bojinka plot, Hambali continues to live there very openly. Beginning in March 1995, just two months after the plot was foiled, Hambali throws his first feast for several hundred guests to mark a Muslim holiday. This becomes an annual party. He also sometimes travels to Indonesia. [TIME, 4/1/2002] By May 1999, if not earlier, the FBI connects Hambali to the Bojinka plot (see May 23, 1999). In January 2000, he attends a key al-Qaeda summit in nearby Kuala Lumpur. The CIA gets pictures and video footage of him at the meeting and already has pictures of him from a computer linked to the Bojinka plot (see January 5-8, 2000 and January 5, 2000). However, there is no apparent effort to apprehend him, extradite him, or even put him on a public wanted list. He continues to live in Sungai Manggis until at least late 2000. [CONBOY, 2003] Entity Tags: Fauzi Hasbi, Abu Bakar Bashir, Hambali, Abdullah Sungkar, Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Jibril, Imam Samudra Category Tags: Other Possible Moles or Informants, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Hambali, Indonesian Militant Collusion

Summer 1991: Bin Laden Leaves Saudi Arabia

Prince Turki al-Faisal. [Source: Publicity photo] Bin Laden, recently returned to Saudi Arabia, has been placed under house arrest for his opposition to the continued presence of US soldiers on Saudi soil. [PBS FRONTLINE, 2001] Controversial author Gerald Posner claims that a classified US intelligence report describes a secret deal between bin Laden and Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal at this time. Although bin Laden has become an enemy of the Saudi state, he is nonetheless too popular for his role with the mujaheddin in Afghanistan to be easily imprisoned or killed. According to Posner, bin Laden is allowed to leave Saudi Arabia with his money and supporters, but the Saudi government will publicly disown him. Privately, the Saudis will continue to fund his supporters with the understanding that they will never be used against Saudi Arabia. The wrath of the fundamentalist movement is thus directed away from the vulnerable Saudis. [POSNER, 2003, PP. 40-42] Posner alleges the Saudis “effectively had [bin Laden] on their payroll since the start of the decade.” [TIME, 8/31/2003] This deal is reaffirmed in 1996 and 1998. Bin Laden leaves Saudi Arabia in the summer of 1991, returning first to Afghanistan. [COLL, 2004, PP. 229-31, 601-02] After staying there a few months, he moves again, settling into Sudan with hundreds of ex-mujaheddin supporters (see 1992-1996). [PBS FRONTLINE, 2001] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Saudi Arabia, Gerald Posner, Turki al-Faisal Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia

Summer 1991: Ali Mohamed Helps Bin Laden Move to Sudan Bin Laden moves his base of operations from Afghanistan to Sudan (see Summer 1991), and asks US-al-Qaeda double agent Ali Mohamed to assist in the move. The New York Times will later report that US officials claim, “this was a complex operation, involving the transfer through several countries of Mr. bin Laden and at least two dozen of his associates.” Mohamed also stays busy frequenting mosques in the US, apparently recruiting operatives for al-Qaeda. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/1/1998; WASHINGTON FILE, 5/15/2001] Ihab Ali Nawawi, an al-Qaeda operative based in Florida, helps Mohamed with the move. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 123] Entity Tags: Ihab Ali Nawawi, Osama bin Laden, Ali Mohamed Category Tags: Ali Mohamed

June 1991: Bosnian Muslims Begin Forming and Arming Private Army

Hasan Cengic. [Source: Dani] The SDA, the ruling party of Bosnian Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic, decides in private meetings that war in Bosnia is inevitable. They begin forming their own paramilitary force called the Patriotic League, which answers to Izetbegovic and his party, not the Bosnian government as a whole. Hasan Cengic, a radical militant imam, is given control of the Patriotic League and begins arming it. The Bosnian Muslims have no armed force at all at this time while the Yugoslavian army they face is very large and well supplied. Cengic travels to many countries arranging secret arms deals to supply the new force, planned to be 30,000 soldiers strong. By the end of the year, he arranges deals with Slovenia, Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 70] Cengic’s efforts will be the start of an illegal arms pipeline into Bosnia of massive proportions (see Mid-1991-1996). Entity Tags: Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Alija Izetbegovic, Hasan Cengic, Patriotic League Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

June 25, 1991: Croatia and Slovenia Declare Independence; War Between Croatia and Serbia Begins The provinces of Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia. Slovenia breaks off without violence (it has no border with Serbia). However, within two days the Yugoslav army, representing Serbia, attacks Croatia and a long war between the two countries begins. This is the start of nearly a decade of conflict in the region as Yugoslavia slowly breaks apart. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 12/6/1995; TIME, 12/31/1995] Entity Tags: Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

Mid-1991-1996: Bin Laden-Linked Charity Front Funnels Billions of Dollars to Bosnia for Weapons

Elfatih Hassanein (center). [Source: Magyar Iszlam] In 1987, a Sudanese man named Elfatih Hassanein found the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA). By mid-1991, Bosnian President Izetbegovic contacts Hassanein, who he has known since the 1970s. The two men agree to turn TWRA from an obscure charity into what the Washington Post will later call “the chief broker of black-market weapons deals by Bosnia’s Muslim-led government and the agent of money and influence in Bosnia for Islamic movements and governments around the world.” A banker in Vienna will later call Hassanein the “bagman” for Izetbegovic. “If the Bosnian government said we need flour, he ran after flour. If they said we need weapons, he ran after weapons.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/22/1996; SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 148] The TWRA is controlled by a committee composed of Hassanein and:

Hasan Cengic. He is in charge of arming a Bosnian militia run by the SDA party (see June 1991). 
Irfan Ljevakovic. 
Husein Zivalj. 
Dervis Djurdjevic. 

All of them are important members of Izetbegovic’s SDA party, and all but Ljevakovic were codefendants with Izetbegovic in a 1983 trial. Most payments require the approval of three of the five, except for amounts greater than $500,000, in which case Izetbegovic has to give approval. The corruption from these higher-ups is said to be incredible, with up to half of all money passing through the TWRA going into their pockets. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 148-152] The TWRA is based in Vienna, Austria, and Izetbegovic personally guarantees Hassanein’s credentials with banks there. Soon, machine guns, missiles and other weapons are being shipped into Bosnia in containers marked as humanitarian aid. Hassanein is a member of Sudan’s government party and a follower of top Sudanese leader Hassan al-Turabi. Just like al-Turabi, he works with bin Laden and the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. He becomes the main agent in Europe for marketing and selling video and audio tapes of Abdul-Rahman’s sermons. In March 1992, the Sudanese government gives him a diplomatic passport and he uses it to illegally transport large amounts of cash from Austria into Bosnia without being searched. [BURR AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 140-141] The Saudi Arabian government is the biggest contributor to TWRA, but many other governments give money to it too, such as Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Brunei, Turkey, and Malaysia. Bin Laden is also a major contributor. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/22/1996] Author John Schindler will later note, “Relations between bin Laden and TWRA were close, not least because during the Bosnian war the al-Qaeda leadership was based in Khartoum, Sudan, under the protection of the Sudanese Islamist regime that was the ultimate backer of Hassanein and his firm.” TWRA also works closely with the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) and most other charity fronts in Bosnia. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 151-152] A later study by the Bosnian government with help from Western intelligence agencies will determine that at least $2.5 billion passed through the TWRA to Bosnia between 1992 and 1995. The study will call the TWRA “a group of Bosnian Muslim wartime leaders who formed an illegal, isolated ruling oligarchy, comprising three to four hundred ‘reliable’ people in the military commands, the diplomatic service, and a number of religious dignitaries.… It was this organization, not the Government [of Bosnia], that controlled all aid that Islamic countries donated to the Bosnian Muslims throughout the war.” [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 149-150] Entity Tags: Omar Abdul-Rahman, Osama bin Laden, Dervis Djurdjevic, Alija Izetbegovic, Elfatih Hassanein, Hassan al-Turabi, Third World Relief Agency, Irfan Ljevakovic, Husein Zivalj, Hasan Cengic, International Islamic Relief Organization Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Terrorism Financing, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman

July 1991: Bin Laden Loses Money in BCCI; Begins Profiting from Drug Trade

BCCI logo. [Source: BCCI] In early 2001, anonymous US officials will say that when the notorious Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) is shut down in July 1991 (see July 5, 1991), Osama bin Laden suffers a heavy blow because he has put much of his money in the bank and he loses everything he invested there. As a result, he begins to launder money from the drug trade to make up for the lost revenue. He cooperates with Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is already diverting profits from the Afghan drug trade to help finance Islamic terrorist movements. Others claim bin Laden begins his involvement with the drug trade several years later. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 3/1/2001] It also seems that bin Laden’s financial network eventually grows to at least partly replace the role of BCCI for Islamist militant financing (see After July 1991). Entity Tags: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Osama bin Laden, Bank of Credit and Commerce International Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism Financing, BCCI, Drugs

July 5, 1991: Criminal BCCI Bank Is Shut Down

A Time magazine cover story on BCCI. [Source: Time Magazine] The Bank of England shuts down Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), the largest Islamic bank in the world. Based in Pakistan, this bank financed numerous militant organizations and laundered money generated by illicit drug trafficking and other illegal activities, including arms trafficking. Bin Laden and many other militants had accounts there (see July 1991). [DETROIT NEWS, 9/30/2001] One money-laundering expert later claims, “BCCI did dirty work for every major terrorist service in the world.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/20/2002] Regulators shut down BCCI offices in dozens of countries and seize about $2 billion of the bank’s $20 billion in assets. BCCI is the seventh largest bank in the world. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), owns 77% of the bank at the time of its closing. He and the UAE government will end up losing about $8 billion. About 1.4 million people had deposits in the bank and will end up losing most of their money. [LEVY AND SCOTT-CLARK, 2007, PP. 98-99] American and British governments were aware of its activities yet allowed the bank to operate for years. The Pakistani ISI had major connections to the bank. [DETROIT NEWS, 9/30/2001] The Bank of England is forced to close BCCI largely because of outside pressure. Beginning in February 1991, the mainstream media began reporting on BCCI’s criminal activities as more and more whistleblowers came forward. [LEVY AND SCOTT-CLARK, 2007, PP. 95] However, as later State Department reports indicate, Pakistan remains a major drug trafficking and money-laundering center despite the bank’s closing. [DETROIT NEWS, 9/30/2001] Most of the bank’s top officials will escape prosecution, and remnants of the bank will continue operating in some countries under new names (see August 1991). A French intelligence report in 2001 will suggest the that Osama bin Laden will later build his financial network on the ruins of the BCCI network, oftentimes using former BCCI officials (see October 10, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 2/17/2002] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, Bank of England, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, BCCI, Drugs

July 11, 1991: Arrest Reveals Links between Pakistani Government, A. Q. Khan Network, and BCCI Edit

On July 11, 1991, retired Pakistani Brigadier General Inam ul-Haq is arrested by German authorities in Frankfurt. His arrest sheds light on the links between the criminal BCCI bank, the Pakistani government, and the A. Q. Khan nuclear network. In 1987, US intelligence attempted to arrest ul-Haq in the US for buying nuclear components there meant for Pakistan’s nuclear program, but some US officials tipped off the Pakistani government about the sting and only a low-level associate of ul-Haq’s was caught (see Before July 1987). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/5/1991] The CIA had long known that ul-Haq was one of A. Q. Khan’s key procurement agents, in addition to being close to the Pakistani ISI. [LEVY AND SCOTT-CLARK, 2007, PP. 161] Ul-Haq’s arrest comes just one week after BCCI was shut down worldwide, and he seems linked to that bank as well. In the sting four years before, the Luxembourg and London branches of BCCI helped finance a shipment of nuclear materials out of the US. Shortly after his arrest, Senator John Glenn (D) says that BCCI involvement in his could be a “smoking gun” for US investigators to learn how Pakistan’s nuclear program was financed. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/5/1991] Ul-Haq is extradited to the US and convicted in 1992 of attempting to export nuclear related materials to Pakistan. He could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, but the judge merely sentences him to time served (several months in prison) and a $10,000 fine. [LEVY AND SCOTT-CLARK, 2007, PP. 228] Entity Tags: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Central Intelligence Agency, Inam ul-Haq Timeline Tags: A. Q. Khan's Nuclear Network Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Pakistani Nukes & Islamic Militancy, BCCI

August 1991: Wanted BCCI Figures Protected in Pakistan and United Arab Emirates

Ghaith Pharaon. [Source: Mike Stephens / Getty Images] In the wake of the July 1991 shutdown of the criminal BCCI bank (see July 5, 1991), the Pakistani government indicates that it is willing to shelter BCCI figures wanted in other countries. For instance, an international arrest warrant is issued for BCCI front man Ghaith Pharaon, and Pakistan has signed an extradition treaty with the US and other countries. But in August 1991, Pakistani Interior Minister Shujaat Hussain, who has authority to block extraditions, states flatly that Pharaon is his friend and he will give him citizenship, protection from extradition, and even immunity from local prosecution. Furthermore, the Los Angeles Times reports that some other senior and mid-level BCCI managers being investigated in the US have already fled to Pakistan. Technically, BCCI is not a Pakistani bank, but 10,000 out of BCCI’s estimated 12,000 employees are Pakistani. The Times reports that Hussain has made clear that “BCCI’s blameless and blamed alike can find shelter from investigations into the bank’s conduct in any of the more than 70 countries where it operated.” Asked if Pakistan would extradite BCCI founder Agha Hasan Abedi, Hussein flatly states, “We will not allow it.” Furthermore, BCCI’s offices remain open in Pakistan and the government has stated that it will not investigate the bank. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 8/12/1991] A majority of the bank is owned by Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the UAE similarly indicates that it will not extradite any of the 18 top BCCI managers living there. The UAE is also sitting on most of BCCI’s financial records. [TIME, 8/3/1992] BCCI branches in the UAE are not shut down either, but are simply renamed to become the National Union Bank. [BBC, 8/5/1991] Many years later, Pakistan will still be protecting BCCI figures such as Pharaon (see June 8-August 10, 2006 and June 8-August 10, 2006). Entity Tags: Bank of Credit and Commerce International, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Shujaat Hussain, Agha Hasan Abedi, Ghaith Pharaon Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, BCCI

After July 1991: Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and Muslim Brotherhood Benefit from Collapse of BCCI, Form New Financial Network to Replace It In July 1991, the criminal BCCI bank is shut down (see July 5, 1991), and Osama bin Laden apparently loses some of his fortune held in BCCI accounts as a result (see July 1991). But while bin Laden loses money, he and his future second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri gain influence. Other Islamist militants have been heavily relying on BCCI for their finances, and in the wake of BCCI’s collapse they are forced to bank elsewhere. Author Roland Jacquard will later claim that “following [the bank’s closure], funds [are] transferred from BCCI to banks in Dubai, Jordan, and Sudan controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Some of the money [is] handed back to organizations such as the FIS [a political party in Algeria]. Another portion [is] transferred by Ayman al-Zawahiri to Switzerland, the Netherlands, London, Antwerp, and Malaysia.” [JACQUARD, 2002, PP. 129] Author Adam Robinson will come to similar conclusions, noting that when BCCI collapses bin Laden has just moved to Sudan, which is ruled by Hassan al-Turabi, who has similar Islamist views to bin Laden. Robinson writes, “Without a system by which money could be transferred around the world invisibly, it would be relatively simple for terrorist funds to be traced. Dealing with this crisis fell to al-Turabi. In desperation he turned to Osama.… The future of the struggle could come to rest on Osama’s shoulders.” Over the next several months, bin Laden and a small team of financial experts work on a plan to replace the functions of BCCI. Bin Laden already knows many of the main Islamist backers from his experience in the Afghan war. “During the summer of 2001 he discreetly made contact with many of the wealthiest of these individuals, especially those with an international network of companies.… Within months, Osama unveiled before an astonished al-Turabi what he called ‘the Brotherhood Group.’” This is apparently a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood. Robinson says this group is made up of 134 Arab businessmen with a collective wealth of many billions of dollars. The network will effectively replace BCCI for Islamist militants. [ROBINSON, 2001, PP. 138-139] A French report shortly after 9/11 will confirm that bin Laden’s network largely replaces BCCI (see October 10, 2001). Right around this time, bin Laden is seen at the London estate of Khalid bin Mahfouz, one of the major investors in BCCI (see (1991)). Entity Tags: Islamic Salvation Front, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bank of Credit and Commerce International, Hassan al-Turabi, Muslim Brotherhood, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism Financing, BCCI

September 26, 1991: UN Imposes Arms Embargo on All Countries in Former Yugoslavia Region The UN Security Council votes to impose an arms embargo on all countries occupying the region of Yugoslavia. Macedonia, Croatia, and Slovenia have split from Yugoslavia by this time and Bosnia will in early 1992, leaving Serbia to dominate what’s left of Yugoslavia. The New York Times comments, “The resolution is in effect an effort to prevent Croatia and other successionist republics from buying arms from other countries. The Yugoslav armed forces have long had a highly developed arms industry of their own and do not need to import weapons at this time…” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/26/1991] Entity Tags: United Nations Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

October 3, 1991-February 1992: Hanjour Is First 9/11 Hijacker to Enter US

A young Hani Hanjour. [Source: FBI] Future 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour first arrives in the US on October 3, 1991. [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 520] Some media accounts have him entering the country in 1990. He apparently is the first hijacker to enter the US. [TIME, 9/24/2001; COX NEWS SERVICE, 10/15/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 6/19/2002] He takes an English course in Tucson, Arizona until early 1992. There are some important al-Qaeda operatives currently living in Tucson. However, it is not known if Hanjour has contact with them at this time, or even when he first develops his radical militant beliefs. According to Hanjour’s eldest brother Abulrahman, Hani stays in Arizona for three months then returns to Saudi Arabia, where he spends the next five years managing his family’s lemon and date farm. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/15/2001] FBI Director Robert Mueller also reports his stay as lasting three months. [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] However, the FBI tells one person that Hanjour may have stayed in the US for as long as 15 months. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/10/2002] Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Hani Hanjour, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Hani Hanjour

Between October 30 and November 1, 1991: Islamic Terrorists Plan to Crash Hijacked Planes into Buildings in Madrid and Kill World Leaders A terrorist group plans to kill some of the world’s most important leaders in Madrid, Spain, by crashing two hijacked planes into the buildings where they are meeting for a Middle East peace conference. [LONDON TIMES, 9/14/2001] The Madrid Conference is hosted by the government of Spain, and is co-sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union. It opens on October 30, 1991, and lasts for three days. [ISRAEL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 1/28/1999] The unnamed Islamic fundamentalist group intends to hijack two aircraft outside Spain and fly them to Madrid. One aircraft is to be crashed into the Spanish Royal Palace during a reception for world leaders, including US President George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union. The other aircraft is to be crashed into a hotel where the Soviet delegation to the conference is staying. The plot is foiled by Arab intelligence. The plot will come to light in the days after September 11, 2001, when former Spanish Secretary of State for Security Rafael Vera reveals it, and it is compared to the 9/11 attacks. [LONDON TIMES, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Rafael Vera, George Herbert Walker Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev Category Tags: Warning Signs

Shortly After Summer 1991: Ali Mohamed Sets Up New Al-Qaeda Camps in Sudan Double agent Ali Mohamed, after helping bin Laden move to Sudan (see Summer 1991), sets up three new al-Qaeda training camps there. The largest is a 20-acre site a few miles south of the capital of Khartoum. Up to 2,000 Muslim militants move to Sudan with bin Laden. After helping them move as well, Mohamed trains them in newly created camps on kidnapping, bomb-making, cell structure, urban warfare, and more. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 175; LANCE, 2006, PP. 77-78] Entity Tags: Ali Mohamed, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Ali Mohamed

November 4, 1991: Al-Qaeda Linked Assassination Attempt on Exiled King of Afghanistan

Zahir Shah. [Source: Associated Press] An assailant posing as a Portuguese journalist stabs Zahir Shah, the former king of Afghanistan, in his home in exile in Rome. Shah survives. The New York Times will later report that US investigators concluded the assailant had ties to al-Qaeda. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 11/6/1991; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/14/2001] The assailant, a Portuguese convert to Islam named Paulo Jose de Almeida Santos, will later claim he was one of the first members of al-Qaeda. He claims that he discusses the plan to kill Zahir Shah in detail with bin Laden, as there is civil war in Afghanistan at the time and there is a possibility that Shah could return there and lead a secular government hostile to bin Laden’s interests. But he will say he didn’t get specific permission from bin Laden for the attack. “[T]here wasn’t a well-defined hierarchy, we were rather disorganized; you could give a try to whatever entered into your head.” He also says that bin Laden “was the guy who gave money to keep the organization going… but he didn’t give many orders.” Santos is immediately caught and serves eight years in an Italian prison for the attack. [BERGEN, 2006, PP. 116-119] Entity Tags: Zahir Shah, Paulo Jose de Almeida Santos, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Warning Signs, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

December 1991-April 1993: Bin Laden’s Brother-in-Law Khalifa Directly Assists Militant Attacks in Philippines Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, apparently directly assists the Abu Sayyaf militant group with a number of attacks during this time. According to a 1996 Philippine intelligence report, in December 1991, Khalifa meets with Abu Sayyaf leaders and gives them $1000 in local currency to bomb a church in the town of Jolo. In January 1992, Khalifa and future Bojinka bombers Wali Khan Amin Shah and Ramzi Yousef meet with Abdurajak Janjalani, the head of the Abu Sayyaf. This time, Khalifa gives $6,000 for two ultimately successful operations—to assassinate an Italian missionary and to bomb a local public market to disrupt provincial elections. Khalifa continues to liaison with Abu Sayyaf leaders, providing food, medicines, ammunition, and sometimes targets to attack. The last known attack with such help from Khalifa takes place in April 1993. [RESSA, 2003, PP. 27, 227] Entity Tags: Abu Sayyaf, Ramzi Yousef, Abdurajak Janjalani, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Wali Khan Amin Shah Category Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Ramzi Yousef, Philippine Militant Collusion, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

December 1991-May 1992: Bin Laden-Linked Bomber Ramzi Yousef Trains Philippine Militants Ramzi Yousef, the future bomber of the WTC in 1993, stays in the Philippines and trains militants there in bomb-making. According to Philippine intelligence documents, Yousef had developed expertise in bomb-making and worked at a training camp at Khost, Afghanistan, teaching bomb-making for militants connected to bin Laden. But bin Laden dispatches him to the Philippines, where he trains about 20 militants belonging to the Abu Sayyaf group. Abu Sayyaf is heavily penetrated by Philippine undercover operatives at this time, especially Edwin Angeles, an operative who is the second in command of the group. Angeles will later recall that Yousef is introduced to him at this time as an “emissary from bin Laden.” [STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE OF THE US ARMY WAR COLLEGE, 9/1/2005 ] Angeles also claims Yousef decided to use the Philippines as a “launching pad” for terrorist acts around the world. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/6/1996] One of Abu Sayyaf’s top leaders will later recall that Yousef also brings a significant amount of money to help fund the group. [PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 1/22/2007; CNN, 1/31/2007] A flow chart of Yousef’s associates prepared in early 1995 by Angeles’ Philippines handler Rodolfo Mendoza shows a box connected to Abu Sayyaf labeled “20 trainees/recruits.” So presumably the Philippine government is aware of this information by then, but it is not known when they warned the US about it (see Spring 1995). Yousef will also later admit to planning the 1993 WTC bombing at an Abu Sayyaf base, which most likely takes place at this time (see Early 1992). The ties between Yousef and Abu Sayyaf will grow stronger, culminating in the 1995 Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995), an early version of the 9/11 plot. Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Abu Sayyaf, Edwin Angeles, Rodolfo Mendoza Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Ramzi Yousef, Philippine Militant Collusion, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

December 7, 1991: US Still Refuses to Investigate Possible Conspiracy in Murder of Jewish Rabbi

El Sayyid Nosair. [Source: FBI] El-Sayyid Nosair is acquitted of killing Meir Kahane (see November 5, 1990), leader of the Jewish Defense League, but convicted of firearms offenses connected with his shooting of two witnesses during his attempt to flee. The judge will declare that the acquittal verdict “defie[s] reason” and sentence Nosair to 22 years by applying maximum sentences to his convictions on the other charges. [VILLAGE VOICE, 3/30/1993; INDEPENDENT, 11/1/1998; LANCE, 2003, PP. 65] The prosecution of Nosair was hobbled by the US government’s absolute refusal to acknowledge the possibility that the murder was anything other than the work of a “lone deranged gunman” despite information gained during the course of the investigation provided by an FBI operative that he had “very close” ties to the radical imam Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. Many boxes of evidence that could have sealed Nosair’s guilt on the murder charge and also shown evidence of a larger conspiracy were not allowed as evidence. [VILLAGE VOICE, 3/30/1993; MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 44-46] A portion of Nosair’s defense fund is paid for by bin Laden, but this will not be discovered until some time later. [ABC NEWS, 8/16/2002] District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who prosecuted the case, will later speculate the CIA may have encouraged the FBI not to pursue any other leads. Nosair worked at the Al-Kifah Refugee Center which was closely tied to covert CIA operations in Afghanistan (see Late 1980s and After). [NEW YORKER, 3/17/1995] Entity Tags: El Sayyid Nosair, Osama bin Laden, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Meir Kahane, Robert Morgenthau Category Tags: Ali Mohamed, Al-Kifah/MAK, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

December 1991-October 27, 1994: Islamist Militants Stage Numerous Attacks in Algeria

GIA logo. [Source: Public domain] The Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA), established in 1991, allegedly is an Islamist militant group linked to al-Qaeda, but there are allegations it was manipulated by the Algerian government from its inception (see 1991). Militants launch their first attack in December 1991, shortly before an Algerian army coup (see January 11, 1992), striking a military base, killing conscripts there and seizing weapons. The GIA competes with an existing militant group, the Armed Islamic Movement (MIA), which changes its name to the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS) in 1993 and becomes the armed wing of the banned FIS party. After the army coup, the GIA and AIS stage many attacks in Algeria. The GIA is more active, targeting many government employees, intellectuals, and foreigners for assassination, and attacking factories, railroads, bridges, banks, military garrisons, and much more. They generally try to minimize civilian casualties, but hope to create a state of fear that will lead to paralysis and the collapse of the government. The group goes through four leaders during this time. But in October 1994 a new leader will take over, dramatically changing the direction of the group (see October 27, 1994-July 16, 1996). [CROTTY, 2005, PP. 291] Entity Tags: Islamic Salvation Army, Groupe Islamique Armé Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Algerian Militant Collusion, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

Timeline linksEdit

September 8 September 9 September 10 September 11

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